Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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The duality of country and rock is further explored.

Jekyll_Hyde“Beautiful Drug” opens Jekyll + Hyde with its crosshairs aimed square at Top 40’s jugular. For just over three minutes you’ll think Zac Brown Band has gone shopping mall pop until “Loving You Easy” follows with their signature roots-rock sound. Their cover of Jason Isbell’s “Dress Blues” is top shelf Americana. –Eric Shea

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

After two decades, these nineties Texan noise-rockers return with what might be their best record yet.

CherubsOn the surface, Cherubs seem to be taking up right where 1994’s Heroin Man left off; all super-distorted guitars and monster drumming. But on 2 Ynfynyty, the group adds surprisingly melodic vocals and hooks galore, resulting in some serious (noise) pop song craft. –Andee Connors

 

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Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Your favorite rap stoners celebrated 420 by breaking Prohibition for the second time. 

Berner & B-RealCypress Hill’s B-Real joins Bay Area slanger Berner for the follow-up to the immensely popular Prohibition. Guests Sage the GeminiB-Legit and Scarface roll one for the crew. Prohibition Part 2 by Berner & B-Real drifts from LA to the Bay with some slow-burning west coast beats. –J. Boogie

 

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

Here’s looking at shoe, kid!

Shana_FalanaThere was a time in the early ‘90s when San Francisco was America’s shoegazing capital. Shana Falana lived there when local bands hoarded effect pedals and The Brian Jonestown Massacre played regular “Soundgasm” residencies. With its gauzy guitars and wistful vocals, Set Your Lightning Fire Free sounds like a sonic celebration of Falana’s Barbary Coastal roots. –Eric Shea

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Sam Smith – Will You Go to Prom With Us?

The preparation, the stress, the perfect outfit, the photo documentation…ah, the promposal. For those of you looking to seal the deal, we think setting the promposal to music is a surefire way to ensure a “Yes!” So, without further adieu:

How to create your own custom promprosal station, in six simple steps:

  1. Let’s get started – type in your date’s favorite artist or song.
  2. Mix it up! Click the “Add Variety” option underneath the station name. Add as many artists or songs to make a station worthy of your perfect prom.
  3. Now that you made it, give it a name. Click the arrow to the right of the station and select “Rename This Station”.  Make it good – you need them to say yes.
  4. Put on your game face, you got this.
  5. Unleash your station on your lucky promposal recipient – go back to your friendly arrow, but this time select the “Share” button.
  6. Enjoy prom – you’re welcome.

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Next Wave Woman: Nicki Bluhm

Nicki Bluhm and her band infuse timeless Americana with R&B grooves, soulful emotiveness and a pop sophistication that contrasts complex musicianship with catchy melodies. Where many rootsy musicians are content to recreate the past, Nicki’s music innovatively blends multiple elements into her own inimitable tone.

1029_Women_Leadership_NickiLike many talents of the 21st century, Nicki Bluhm was discovered on YouTube. She and her band The Gramblers are music lovers and music lifers – they even play and record songs while riding in their van between gigs. After posting a “van session” cover of the Hall & Oates hit “I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do),” the video is currently approaching three million views. Read More →

Next Wave Woman: Kali Uchis

Kali Uchis will make you feel lazy – like you need to be a more productive human being. The 20-year old singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer/retro-future fashion icon has earned a lot of attention since the release in early January of her acclaimed EP, Por Vida, and for good reason.

1029_Women_Leadership_Kali“I find it crucial to remain true to myself, my vision, and to never compromise or let anyone take that from me,” says Uchis. Her mystifying aura, substantial musical prowess and aesthetic seem to reference every marginalized subculture of last 50 years. Already celebrated amongst diverse circles for some time now, Kali Uchis is a safe bet to soon to be a more broadly recognized phenom. Read More →

Resonance: Weekly Curator Picks

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Retro rock ‘n’ soul band go modern.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 3.12.02 PMAlabama Shakes’ 2012 debut Boys & Girls rocked retrospectively like Aretha Franklin’s recordings at Muscle Shoals’ FAME Studios. Conversely, their sophomore album Sound & Color sounds more informed by D’Angelo and Flying Lotus. The instrument tones still resonate with vintage flair (the band sounds like they’re playing out of the same gear), but the production is very 21st century R&B. –Eric Shea

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CURATOR’S CHOICE

In the dude dominated realm of riff-rock, Ruby The Hatchet are a much welcome breath of fresh air.

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 3.25.06 PMFronted by female singer Jillian Taylor, the Philly quintet’s second album Valley Of The Snake rocks with all the muscle of their heavily resonated contemporaries. But Taylor’s slightly raspy inflections bring a sultry strength that sounds like Stevie Nicks singing for Deep Purple. –Eric Shea

 

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Next Wave Woman: Jacqueline Novak

It’s a great time to be a female comedian. With the rise of new media, women can steer their own career paths in innovative ways. The inventive, commanding, and very funny Jacqueline Novak is a shining example of this trend.

1029_Women_Leadership_JacquelineA former poet, Novak’s lyrical tendencies weave throughout Quality Notions. Her voice is a brassy, lilting, cocktail that’s equal parts Judy Tenuta, Amy Sedaris, and Megan Mullally, served with a twist of old-timey 1930s Gal Friday. She’s meta without disrupting her conversational delivery, flirting with established gender tropes before plunging into an alternate take so original that the audience forgets gender was ever a factor to begin with. Despite her disarming use of grammatical no-nos (ain’t is a favorite word), Novak’s fierce intellect demands to be reckoned with, whether explaining how to eat a single slice of pizza or expressing love “the hound’s way.” Read More →

Next Wave Woman: Tink

Trinity Home is the next woman you’ll be hearing on the bus, on TV and in the streets. Tink is her own new generation of performer, an extremely talented as a rapper, singer, actress and all around unique future sound.

1029_Women_Leadership_TinkTaking her youthful energy from Chicago to the world, Tink stands on her own with an original vocal style that grabs the listener and demands attention. Comparisons to Lauryn Hill, Missy and Tweet are apt but don’t fully describe Tink’s rare talent and originality. Read More →

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame – Fan Faves and Who Should Have Made the Cut

Like most music lovers, we at Pandora are equally excited and opinionated about this year’s Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductees. Being that our main headquarters is in Oakland, we’re extra proud that East Bay punk-pop heroes Green Day were inducted – we’re also stoked that Pandora listeners made their hit “Good Riddance” one of the top thumbed up songs from this year’s inductees! And isn’t it about time that Bill Withers made the cut? Anyone who’s seen his awesome 2009 documentary Still Bill probably agrees – as do those of you who thumbed “Ain’t No Sunshine” into our top thumbs. And you don’t have to be a “blues lawyer” to argue the importance of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s induction.

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Inside The Collection: Stoner Rock

This year, for April 20th, I made a mammoth mixtape: 420 Stoner Rock. And yes, this mix is exactly 420 songs deep with bands old and new. For the record, I can’t stand the term “stoner rock.” In my opinion, it pigeonholes an entire population of musicians as nothing more than dimwitted stoners with loud guitars. But listen to this mix and you’ll hear how the genre offers up much more. Calling something “stoner rock” reminds me of the early ‘90s when snarky music writers similarly dismissed bands like Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and Sebadoh as “slacker rock.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 5.33.11 PMThe origins of stoner rock can be found in a movement that was coined, “desert rock.” In the late ‘80s and early ‘90s there was a community of musicians based in the Palm Desert of Southern California who blended bits of classic hard rock, blues, psychedelia, heavy metal and hardcore. This scene spawned such bands as Queens Of The Stone Age, Kyuss, Nebula, Fu Manchu and the aptly named collective The Desert Sessions. Of course the sound wasn’t just isolated to this region. For example, Monster Magnet hails from Red Bank, New Jersey. Red Fang are from Portland, Oregon and Mastodon are from Atlanta, Georgia. Northern California’s Sleep has often been regarded as the quintessential stoner rock band. They basically turned Black Sabbath into an entire genre. Read More →